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Pepperdine Returns Home To Host Saint Mary's In Nationally-Televised Game


Jan. 18, 2005

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THIS WEEK: The Pepperdine men's basketball team will look to remain unbeaten at Firestone Fieldhouse this week when it hosts West Coast Conference (WCC) rivals Saint Mary's and Santa Clara on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Both games tip off at 7 p.m.

The Waves enter Thursday's game against Saint Mary's with a 7-0 record at Firestone Fieldhouse this season. Dating back to last year, Pepperdine has won nine straight home contests and are seeking to begin a season 8-0 at home for the first time since posting a perfect 15-0 mark at Firestone Fieldhouse during the 1985-86 campaign.

RADIO/TV: There is no live radio for Thursday's game against Saint Mary's. However, all the action can be followed live on the Internet at Veteran play-by-play announcer Al Epstein will call the action. All regular-season and post-season games involving the Waves can be heard on the Internet. Live stats are also available for selected Pepperdine games via Gametracker.

PEPPERDINE-SAINT MARY'S ON CSTV: Thursday's Pepperdine-Saint Mary's game will be televised live nationally by CSTV beginning at 7 p.m. Carter Blackburn will handle the play-by-play while Matt Doherty will provide analysis.

VIDEO STREAMING ALSO AVAILABLE: In addition to listening live to home broadcasts, video streaming is also available at

ABOUT PEPPERDINE: The Waves are currently 12-7 on the season and 2-2 in West Coast Conference (WCC) play. Pepperdine endured a tough trip to the Northwest last weekend as it suffered a pair of losses to Portland (81-71) and No. 16 Gonzaga (86-62). Senior forward Glen McGowan led the Waves in scoring both games, totaling 24 points against the Pilots and 15 against the Bulldogs.

WAVES NO. 20 IN MID-MAJOR POLL: After losing two games last week, Pepperdine slipped eight spots to No. 20 in this week's's Mid-Major Poll. The Waves were No. 12 in last week's poll. Pepperdine is one of three West Coast Conference (WCC) teams ranked in the poll, joining No. 1 Gonzaga (13-3) and No. 5 Saint Mary's (15-5).

GONZAGA RECAP: Adam Morrison scored 26 points to help No. 16 Gonzaga post an 86-62 victory over Pepperdine in a West Coast Conference (WCC) game Saturday at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Ronny Turiaf added 19 points and 10 rebounds, his fifth double-double of the season, for Gonzaga, and freshman David Pendergraft added 14 points. It was Gonzaga's sixth win in a row against Pepperdine since 2000. Pepperdine shot 33.9 percent, including 5-of-25 from 3-point range. Glen McGowan scored 15 points for Pepperdine and Alex Acker added 13 for Pepperdine. Gonzaga was 18-of-21 from the free-throw line and had a 37-30 rebounds edge. The Bulldogs shot 60 percent from the field, a season-high against the Waves this year. Gonzaga led 42-33 at halftime, after connecting on 17 of 28 attempts from the field. Pepperdine was 11-of-32 in the first, including just 3-of-14 from 3-point range. The Bulldogs opened the second half with a 13-6 run to build a 55-39 lead.

ABOUT SAINT MARY'S: Saint Mary's begins play this week with a 15-5 overall record and a 2-1 mark in the WCC. The Gaels had their nine-game winning streak snapped by their arch-rival Santa Clara on Saturday as the Broncos posted a 65-42 victory in Moraga. Saint Mary's is currently scoring 67.4 points a contest and boasts the conference's top scoring defense, allowing 59.5 points a contest. The Gaels have three players averaging in double figures and are led by junior forward Daniel Kickert, who is averaging 14.1 points a contest. Senior guard Paul Marigney, who missed Saint Mary's first nine games, is also contributing 14.1 points a game. Head coach Randy Bennett, a former Pepperdine assistant, is currently in his fourth year leading the Gaels and has compiled an overall record to date of 58-52 (.527).

SERIES VERSUS SAINT MARY'S: Thursday's game between Pepperdine and Saint Mary's will mark the 109th meeting between the two programs with the Waves leading the all-time series, 66-42. Pepperdine and Saint Mary's met three times last season and the Gaels won two of the three games. The Waves registered an 86-82 victory in Malibu before Saint Mary's defeated Pepperdine 104-95 in the season finale in Moraga and registered a 79-74 victory in the semi-finals of the WCC Tournament in Santa Clara.

ABOUT SANTA CLARA: Santa Clara begins this week with a 9-9 overall mark and is 2-1 in WCC play. The Broncos have won two straight, including a 65-42 victory at Saint Mary's on Saturday. Prior to playing the Waves on Saturday, Santa Clara will visit Loyola Marymount on Thursday. The Broncos are currently averaging 75.1 points a contest and are allowing 73.4 points a game. Santa Clara has three players averaging in double figures and is led by junior forward Travis Niesen who is contributing 16.1 points a game. Head coach Dick Davie is in the midst of his 13th season leading the Broncos and has compiled an overall record to date of 211-157 (.573).

SERIES VERSUS SANTA CLARA: Saturday's game between Pepperdine and Santa Clara will mark the 109th meeting between the two schools with the Broncos leading the all-time series, 60-48. The teams split their two meetings last season as the Broncos posted a 75-68 victory in Santa Clara and the Waves won 93-90 at Firestone Fieldhouse.

WCC NO. 7 IN RPI RANKINGS: The West Coast Conference (WCC) continued to be ranked among the top conferences in the country is moved up to No. 7 in this week's RPI Rankings. The No. 7 ranking is the highest-ever for the WCC. In addition, five teams in the WCC (Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, San Francisco, Pepperdine and Portland) own top 90 RPIs. Only five other conferences (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12 and Pac-10) have a better ratio of teams in the top 90 than the WCC. Prior to this season, the WCC's highest RPI ranking was its 10th place finish at the conclusion of the 2001-02 season.

WCC BREAKS NON-CONFERENCE WINS RECORD: West Coast Conference (WCC) teams have compiled a cumulative overall record of 76-37 for a .672 winning percentage. The 76 wins eclipse the previous mark of 73 set during the 1984-85 season. The WCC is assured of setting a league record for winning percentage. The previous league mark was .649 set during the 1978-79 campaign.

MORE WCC: Heading into the week, the West Coast Conference (WCC) is one of just three conferences in the country that can boast that all of its members have .500 or better records. The only other conferences that can make that claim are the ACC and the Big 12. In addition, the WCC, ACC and Pac-10 are the only conferences in the country that can boast all of their member institutions in this week's Sagarin Rankings Top 150.

MCGOWAN'S 22 REBOUNDS RANK SECOND IN COUNTRY: Senior forward Glen McGowan totaled a career-high 22 rebounds to go along with 31 points against Colorado State. At the time, it tied for the most by a player in Division I this season, equaling UNLV's Louis Amundson who had 22 against Auburn on December 12. Fresno State's Dreike Bouldin registered 23 rebounds against Louisiana Tech on January 8.

MCGOWAN RECORDS 1,000 CAREER POINTS: Senior forward Glen McGowan is steadily moving his way up Pepperdine's all-time career scoring list. Entering Thursday's game against Saint Mary's, McGowan ranks 27th on the school's all-time points list with 1,116 points. In 81 games, McGowan is averaging 13.8 points a contest.

MCGOWAN RANKS AMONG TOP 50 IN REBOUNDING: Heading into Thursday's game against Saint Mary's, Glen McGowan ranks No. 45 on Pepperdine's all-time career rebounding list with 406.

ACKER REACHES 1,000 CAREER POINTS: Junior guard Alex Acker became the 34th player in Pepperdine history to record 1,000 career points earlier this season. Entering Thursday's game against Saint Mary's, Acker currently has 1,049 points to rank No. 31st on Pepperdine's all-time list. In 76 career games, Acker is averaging 13.8 points.

ACKER MOVES INTO TOP 10 IN STEALS: Alex Acker has moved into Pepperdine's Top 10 career steals list this season. He currently has 116 to rank No. 9 all-time.

TAKE ME HOME: Firestone Fieldhouse has been a great place for the Waves to play in 2004-05. Pepperdine is currently 7-0 at home this and is defeating its opponents by an average of 12.1 points a game. The Waves are scoring 76.0 points and limiting their opponents to just 63.9 points a contest. Pepperdine is shooting 44.9 percent from the field and keeping its opponents to just 38.7 percent shooting. Senior forward Glen McGowan has particularly liked playing in the intimate confines of Firestone Fieldhouse as he is averaging team-leading totals of 23.7 points and 9.6 rebounds a game.

TOUGH ROAD: While posting a perfect mark at home, things have not gone as well on the road for Pepperdine as it has just a 5-7 record away from Firestone Fieldhouse. The Waves are 1-5 in true road games and 4-2 in neutral court games. Pepperdine has averaged 72.8 points a contest while allowing 76.2 points a game. Opponents have also shot the ball better against the Waves away from Firestone Fieldhouse as they are connecting on 45.9 percent of their shots. In Pepperdine's seven losses, the Waves have been out-scored by an average 11.7 points a game and have shot just 38.3 percent from the filed. Pepperdine has also been out-rebounded by an average of 4.9 boards a contest.

INJURY UPDATE: Senior center Jesse Pinegar was added to the injury last week when he sprained his ankle during practice and was unable to make the trip to the Pacific Northwest. It is unknown how many games he will miss. Junior center Derick Grubb has missed a total of 14 games due to a back injury and is likely to redshirt this season. Sophomore forward Cody Horning has missed a total of 15 games due to a concussion and then a knee injury.

MISCELLANEOUS STATISTICS: Through 19 games this season, Pepperdine is currently averaging 74.6 points a contest while allowing 73.9 points a game...The Waves rank fourth in the West Coast Conference (WCC) in scoring offense and are seventh in scoring defense...Pepperdine is averaging 78.8 points a game and is shooting 47.7 percent from the field in its 12 victories and is out-scoring and out-rebounding its opponents by 10.5 points and 4.5 rebounds a contest...Individually, senior forward Glen McGowan ranks 13th nationally in scoring...McGowan ranks second in the WCC and leads the Waves with 20.9 points a contest while junior guard Alex Acker is second on the club and 10th in the conference with 15.4 points a game...McGowan also leads the team and is second in the conference with 8.4 rebounds a contest...Additionally, Acker tops the Waves and is fifth in the WCC with 3.84 assists a game...Senior center Jesse Pinegar is converting 46.5 percent (20-43) of his three-pointers to lead Pepperdine and rank third in the conference...McGowan has scored in double figures in all 19 games this season and has scored 20 or more points 12 times...Acker has reached double-figure point totals in 15 of 19 contests...McGowan has also led the Waves in rebounding nine times, has scored 25 or more points on five occasions and has a team-high six double-doubles...The Waves are 11-2 when leading at halftime and 0-5 when behind at the half...Pepperdine is 11-1 when posting a higher shooting percentage than its opponent...The Waves have scored 58 points in three of their five losses.

TOUGH LOSSES: Three of the Pepperdine's seven losses have been by three points or less. All three came within the final 10 seconds. The Waves fell 85-83 to UCLA when the Bruins scored with 4.7 seconds remaining, lost 61-58 to California at the buzzer and suffered a 72-69 loss to Troy and when the Trojans made three free throws in the final 21 seconds to break a 69-69 tie. In those three losses, the Waves managed just 70.0 points a contest and allowed 72.7 points. Pepperdine was out-rebounded in those games by a 5.7 boards a contest and made just 65.3 percent (25 of 69) of its free throws. Additionally, the Waves turned the ball over 37 times while forcing just 29.

WAVES IN WCC OPENERS: Dating back to the 1997-97 season, Pepperdine is 8-1 in West Coast Conference (WCC) openers, including Friday's 83-67 win over San Diego. The Waves had their seven-game winning streak snapped last season, following an 87-70 loss to nationally-ranked Gonzaga at Firestone Fieldhouse. Dating back to the 1955-56 season, Pepperdine's all-time record in WCC openers stands at 26-24 (.520).

WAVES VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS: Pepperdine is currently 1-1 against ranked opponents this season. The Waves registered a 75-61 victory over then No. 17-ranked Wisconson on November 27 at Firestone Fieldhouse. It marked Pepperdine's first win over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 13 Gonzaga, 88-79, in Malibu on January 18, 2002. The Waves suffered their first defeat to a ranked opponent this season Saturday night in Spokane when the No. 16 Bulldogs registered an 86-62 victory over Pepperdine.

PEPPERDINE AND THE WCC: Dating back to the 1997-98 season, Pepperdine has the West Coast Conference's (WCC) second-best record in league play. The Waves have compiled an overall record to date of 73-29 (.716), trailing only Gonzaga, which has posted an 88-14 (.863) record during the same time. Since 1998, Gonzaga and Pepperdine have either won or shared every WCC regular-season title. The Bulldogs claimed outright titles in 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2004, while the Waves captured the 2000 regular season crown. The two teams shared the title in 2002.

SURGING WAVES: In the last six-plus seasons, Pepperdine has compiled a cumulative record of 130-76 (.631) and advanced to post-season play four times. The Waves had their streak of post-season appearances snapped in 2003 and will look for a return in 2005. Pepperdine has averaged 19.67 wins a year dating back to the 1988-89 campaign.

PEPPERDINE HONORS: Junior guard Alex Acker was named the West Coast Conference's (WCC) "Player of the Week" for the week of November 29 for his performance during a pair of victories over No. 17/20 Wisconsin and Long Beach State. Acker nearly averaged a double-double with 21.0 points and 9.0 rebounds to go along with 5.0 assists a game. He connected on 44.8 percent of his shots, including 55.6 percent from three-point range. He also converted on 11 of 12 free throw attempts. Acker scored five of his game-high 25 points in the closing minutes to help the Waves hold off Long Beach State Tuesday night. He also added a team-best nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Against Wisconsin, Acker totaled 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in Pepperdine's upset win over the Badgers on Saturday...Senior forward Glen McGowan was named's "Star of the Week" for his 29-point performance against nationally-ranked Wisconsin on Saturday. McGowan connected on 12-of-21 attempts from the field, including 4-of-8 from behind the three-point arc. His performance against the Badgers came on the heels of a 15-point, five-rebound showing at Long Beach State. In two games, McGowan averaged a team-best 22.0 points a contest while shooting 54.8 percent from the field...Last week he shared the WCC's "Player of the Week" award with Saint Mary's Paul Marigney after averaging 26.7 points and 12.7 rebounds in three games.

WAVES INK THREE DURING EARLY SIGNING PERIOD: Head coach Paul Westphal and his staff signed three recruits during the recently-concluded early signing period. Willie Galick, Chris Oakes and Tomas Pranciliauskas will enroll at Pepperdine next fall. Galick is a 6-7, 230-pound forward from Nanaimo, British Columbia. He attended Cedar Community School where he averaged 33 points, 15 rebounds three assists and two steals as a junior. Galick was a AA "Most Valuable Player"/All-Star and was a three-time Team Island All-Star. Oakes (6-9, 195) was highly recruited prep out of Oakland's Castlemont High. He was ranked among's Top 10 centers on the west coast, was named to the Long Beach Press Telegram's "Best In The West" and was a Nike All-American Camp participant. Oakes scored 30 points, 31 rebounds and nine blocked shots in one game as a junior. Pranciiauskas, a 6-4, 195-pound shooting guard from Vilnius, Lithuania, averaged 18.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists a contest as a junior at the Walsingham Academy in Virginia. Pranciiauskas was a first team Virginia Gazette All-star, first team All-TCIS and first team TCIS All-Tournament. Additionally, Pranciiauskas was a member of the Lithuania Junior National Team and a Nike All-American Camp participant.

Paul Westphal: Paul Westphal, the former head coach of the Phoenix Suns and the Seattle SuperSonics, is in the midst of his fourth season at Pepperdine and has compiled a mark of 64-45 (.587) in Malibu. He succeeded Jan van Breda Kolff who resigned as the Waves' head coach in April of 2001 to accept a similar position at St. Bonaventure. Westphal is the program's 11th head coach. Westphal brought more than 12 years of head coaching experience to Pepperdine, and including stints with Southwestern Baptist Bible College and Grand Canyon College, his current six-year collegiate record stands at 148-72 (.673). He directed the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals in his rookie season back in 1993 and the Pacific Division title in 1993 and 1995. Including the playoffs, Westphal's overall NBA head coaching record stands at 294-181 (.619). A first round draft choice by the Boston Celtics in 1972, Westphal played 12 seasons in the NBA for Boston, Phoenix, New York and Seattle. He was a five-time NBA All-Star, named to the All-NBA team four times and a member of the 1974 Celtics teams that won the NBA title. A three-time All-Pacific 8 Conference performer and a two-time All-American at USC, Westphal averaged 16.4 points in three seasons with the Trojans and was inducted into USC's "Hall of Fame" in 1997.

THE PROGRAM: In the midst of its 67th season of intercollegiate competition, the Pepperdine men's basketball program has compiled an overall record to date of 1072-807(.570). A total of 22 Pepperdine teams have posted 20-plus win campaigns, including three of the last five. The Waves have won 19 or more games nine times in the last 15 campaigns. Pepperdine made its 13th NCAA Tournament appearance in 2001-02, and the Waves have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) a total of eight times, including the Preseason NIT in 1985 and 2000. Since the start of the 1979-80 campaign, Pepperdine teams have compiled an overall record of 485-344 (.585), including a 246-110 (.691) mark in regular season West Coast Conference (WCC) play. Since the 1980-81 season, Pepperdine teams have either won or shared the WCC regular season title on 10 occasions-1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2000 and 2002-and the program has won 12 basketball championships overall. Additionally, the Waves have captured the WCC Tournament championship three times-1991, 1992 and 1994.

WAVES AT HOME: Dating back to the start of the 1997-98 campaign, the Waves are 75-19 (.798) at home. Pepperdine's all-time homecourt record at Firestone Fieldhouse, dating back to the start of the 1973-74 campaign, currently stands at 313-108 (.743). The Waves are currently 7-0 in 2004-05.

WAVES ON THE ROAD: Pepperdine concluded the 2003-04 campaign with a 7-12 (.368) overall record after ending the year with a 79-74 neutral-court loss to Saint Mary's in the semi-finals of the West Coast Conference Tournament. The Waves are currently 5-7 on the road, including 4-2 in neutral court games.

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